Whether you are a consultant, a small business, or a Fortune 500 company, a blog can be a great tool to promote yourself.  But the mistake that many blogs make is placing too much emphasis on promoting what they offer, and not enough focus on the people doing the selling.

How many times have you heard that blogs can help 'humanize' a company or business?  Think about the commercial that you see on TV.  Who is sending this message to you?  An advertiser, of course. 

JoshSidebar.jpg But with a blog, there's a person behind the words.  And this is where a blog excels, because it lets a company, business or individual be on the same level as the reader.  This is why you should strive to promote the people behind your blog and company as much as possible. 

For example, check out the picture to the right.  This is taken from Josh Hallett's blog.  Josh is a very popular blogger and social media consultant.  Notice that he makes it incredibly easy to not only contact him, but to learn more about him, and his services.  Josh isn't hiding at all, he's right out in the open.   This IMO is an absolute must.  When I arrive at your blog, I must know who is writing the blog, I must have access to your pic and bio (preferrably both will be on the blog's main page), and I must know how to contact you.  This information should be so readily available that I couldn't miss it if I tried.  Josh has everything you need all in one shot at the top of the blog.   By doing this, Josh is making it much easier to trust what he writes, as well as relate to what he is saying.  You should strive to do the same.

Why not add pictures in the posts themselves?  Notice what LinkedIn does on their company blog.  Every blogger has a small picture of themselves attached to the top of every post.  How many times have you seen a blog where at the bottom of the post it says that the post was written by 'Team Member' or blogger, or some other anonymous description?   Which do you like better, to know that 'team member' wrote a post, or that it was written by Mario Sundar, with a picture of Mario attached at the top of the post?   This is a very easy way to put a human face on your blog, literally.

Mario.jpgBut why stop there?  Is it possible to involve your customers or others in your blog's pictures?  An incredibly powerful promotional tool can be to show others on your blog interacting with and enjoying your products.  Notice what Ball of Whacks creator Roger von Oech did in the picture below.  Last fall when the iPhone was going on sale, Roger noticed a very long line of customers waiting to purchase the iPhone when it went on sale at his local Apple store.  But in passing by the line, Roger noticed that one of the people standing in line was Robert Scoble.  Many of you are likely familiar with Robert, as he is one of the most popular bloggers on the internet.  Roger then stopped and gave Scoble a Ball of Whacks to pass the time, and then shot a pic of Scoble enjoying playing with the creative toy.  This picture is literally a third-party endorsement of the Ball of Whacks.

Scoble.jpgBlogs are wonderful tools for putting a 'human' face on an organization.  Take that statement literally, and do everything you can to promote the people behind your business.  Let us know that you aren't an anonymous company that I can't relate to, but instead that your business is made up of real people.  We know this, but it helps to see it.  I might not be able to relate to a large company, but I can relate to the people that make that company run.  I can relate to your customers that enjoy your products and services.   These are the people I want to see.  Some self-promotion is fine on your blog, but don't forget to promote people that make your business run, and who benefit from your products and services.

January 24, 2008

Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.

His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.

Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.

You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.

Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.


Some great points made here Mack. I agree with you that adding a picture of the author itself is probably one of the most important things any blogger can do. I even think it gives a bigger sense of comfort when I see their social media profiles like linked-in, facebook, and twitter as well. I have to admit though, I am guilty as I need to add some of those details to my blog too.

Great post otherwise....Sphinned! :)

Thanks Joseph! And I also had to learn this lesson the hard way. For the first 6 months or so of blogging, I didn't have a pic or bio on my blog. My friends kept 'nagging' me about this, and finally I relented. It's a must-have, IMO.

Hey that's me! :-)

As someone who is just starting to work on a company blog, this post is a fantastic resource. Thanks so much for the great information.

Tara congrats on your company blog!

great place for info, LOTs of reading!... conrats on the new blog tara

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